Enjoy opening the innings: du Plessis

CSK batsman talks about his new role in the batting line-up

Bengaluru 24 May 2014
It was a sea of green at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, as the crowd came out in big numbers to cheer for the home team in their final game of this season’s IPL. But barring Virat Kohli’s brilliance, the crowd had nothing to cheer for as the Royal Challengers Bangalore lost against the Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets. Dwayne Smith, as usual, started off in clinical fashion, setting up a perfect platform for the run-chase. After his departure, Faf du Plessis and captain MS Dhoni scaled the target in style with an unbeaten 75-run stand.

du Plessis, who has opened the innings for CSK in the last two games, said that he was enjoying his new role at the top of the order and admitted to batting at his best while facing the new ball. In this post-match chat, du Plessis speaks about his new role and the match-winning partnership with his captain. 

Excerpts from his interview:

How important is this win for the Chennai Super Kings?

We had some real good momentum throughout the tournament and then kind of lost it in the last three games when things did not go our way. It was really necessary to find some sort of winning momentum before the Playoffs. With this win, we can forget about the earlier losses and focus on the important matches ahead. We played well tonight and now we have the momentum on our side.

Enjoying your new role as an opener?

(Smiles) I really enjoy batting at the top of the order. I have really enjoyed opening the batting in the last two games where I can play normal cricket shots but still be very aggressive. Personally, I feel I am batting at my best when I am opening the batting. But having said that, this sport is not about individuals and it is what the team requires me to do. Obviously, when Brendon McCullum comes back, I would slide back to No.4 because of the balance of our side. I do not mind that and I will fit into what the team thinks is best.

How did you plan your innings after Dwayne Smith and Suresh Raina’s dismissals?

The wicket was getting a bit slower and the ball started turning a bit and it was really important not to lose wickets because we had lost Suresh Raina and Dwayne Smith. I was not trying to hit boundaries and was only trying to rotate the strike as much as possible when MS Dhoni walked in to bat. And when MS Dhoni decides to go for the kill, it is just hard to stop him.

How does it help to have MS dhoni bat at the other end?

It does help having Dhoni on the other side. When the ball is soft, it is harder to hit sixes, but you know Dhoni can do that. We worked well in that partnership. I knew he could hit and he knew that I was going to get him on strike for the majority of the time. He faced most of the balls in that partnership and I am very happy with that because he is destructive. It was a good combination to close the game down.

After the toil throughout the tournament, is this the time that matters the most?

We are really looking forward to giving our best in the games to follow. Chennai Super Kings is a side that plays well in the big games. We have been in a lot of finals and we will do what it takes to win the games that matter the most from now on. 
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